MARK LEVIN: A look back at the attacks on Reagan, how they are similar to attacks on conservatives today

Mark Levin gives a great history lesson on the attacks aimed at Ronald Reagan by establishment-type Republicans, who called him extreme and said he couldn’t win. Similar attacks are now being leveled at conservatives like Ted Cruz from the same Republican types who were wrong the first time.


Comment Policy: Please read our comment policy before making a comment. In short, please be respectful of others and do not engage in personal attacks. Otherwise we will revoke your comment privileges.

43 thoughts on “MARK LEVIN: A look back at the attacks on Reagan, how they are similar to attacks on conservatives today

  1. George Will, always an effete snob, called Reagan’s supporters, Kamikazee Conservatives. Will is still a ‘conservative’ poseur.

  2. He makes a Great Point. George Bush the First gave Reagan a lot of HELL. Reagan Won and I was extremely Happy. When Reagan tried to Wrangle the nomination from Ford he almost pulled it off. He did not for reasons Mark just mentioned. Had he done so…..we would never would have had a President Carter. I could go on and on but Mark said it all so very well.

  3. Goldwater was NOT Conservative. He was very social liberal. He was conservative on the Military especially. But overall much more like Ron Paul.

    Ford was a disgrace. I voted against him in the primary. I should have voted against him in the general. I no longer vote for RINOs ever I vote against them in the general they are the far worse evil. At least Democrats are honest about who they are and what they will support.

    I do hope Cruz wins he is the only hope. But still feel it is too late our goose is cooked without divine interference. Far too many RINOs in DC and far too many RINOs lying they are conservative running.

    1. On what planet is someone strong on the military or foreign policy more like Ron Paul ?

      Ron Paul is an idiot on those subjects, and his son has much of the same viewpoints.

      1. I said he was more like Ron Paul than Conservative. Paul is also socially liberal. I also pointed out he was strong on the military most know Paul is not. Why I pointed it out.

        1. Ok, I get that to an extent. Just like when I hear about how Rand Paul is a great conservative I say NO, he’s a libertarian.

          That said, Ron Paul and his cult following fleas should never be mentioned in the same paragraph as any significant conservative leader.

          Goldwater or otherwise.

          The Paulbots may be very good at creating spectacles of themselves, chaos at conventions, and costing us multiple close elections, but they can’t even come close to winning a primary.

          Here in VA, they have cost us multiple statewide elections for State executives, Senate and electoral college votes. No margin for error because of NOVA, and those degenerates vote third party or DNC after disrupting everything every election cycle since the Kilgore race.

          I obviously have nothing but contempt for them. They have more in common with anarchists and OWS than they do conservatism, and I wish the GOP would dispatch them instead of inviting these termites into the big tent to eat the tent poles.

          1. But that was my point. He was no Conservative Icon. The left tries to make him one or did in order to destroy Conservatism. He never was. He was just strong on defense. He was weak on everything else Libertarian not Conservative.

            He won because the Liberals split the vote Nelson Rockefeller, Stanton and others and no true Conservative ran against him. Defense was a huge issue that year with fears of the USSR. Goldwater was well liked not a lightening rod like Ron Paul.

            Rockefeller Republicans were what we now call RINOs back then. Goldwater was a friend of JFK but hated Johnson. He had planned on running against JFK.

  4. TEA for me…66 years watching this movie..(R)inos=Toast. They earned it..TRAITORS..At best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. thnx…we olddogs have been too FREE to LONG…Not going for the “Mandated Mediocrity”..thingy…Take Care…

    1. I am going to donate to my armory. It seems that it will unfortunately be needed in the near future.

  5. Levin laid this out quite well. I lived it and I remember. The difference now is We The People have broadened our definition of establishment and we are coming for all of them….including George Will and WSJ among others. We are keeping score. We know who you are and your influence is waning.

    And Levin is referring to Ann Coulter and Thomas Sowell who are attacking Cruz as well as Charen and others.

    Overall people do not understand the threat people like Reagan and Cruz pose because they haven’t walked those halls of power and see the nuts and bolts of the inner workings so they don’t realize why these people who are supposedly on our side turn on us. Honesty, integrity, decency are alwyas a threat to those that seek to profit of the work and the misery of others.

  6. Ronald Reagan is the first candidate I ever voted for in 1980 at age 20 (a knucklehead). The attacks on Reagan never swayed me and during his eight years as president he drew up a blue print for GOP victory…it was simple. Call out your opponent (Carter) for their failures, stand tall against the attacks and run on conservatism (sounds like Cruz to me). The leftist Dems would never nominate a moderate democrat, yet the well fed Rinos want a moderate to liberal nominee and we lose. Amazing.

    1. As a 17 year-old knucklehead I wasn’t old enough to vote for Carter in ’76, but I was as ardent a supporter as he ever had. My mom and dad were at an early dinner he had when it was announced he was running. Everyone thought it was a joke. But look where conviction and ignoring the laughter got him– he won!

      4 years later I had wisened up (as well as the rest of the country) and had become a Reagan conservative. I have never looked back.

      Point being, the youth vote, Hispanic vote, sensible democrats (not drones) can change their opinions if presented with a compelling candidate who has good ideas, a plan of action, a spine and vibrant sense of humor to poke fun at the ridiculousness of progressivism. I am living proof that the fight can be won!

    2. I voted for Reagan against Ford and I still recall the 76 GOP convention and hoping it would be opened so delegates could nominate Ronnie. It was close and almost happened:

      Going into the convention, Ford had won more primary delegates than Reagan, as well as plurality in popular vote. However, Ford did not have enough to secure the nomination, thus, when the convention opened, both candidates were seen as having a chance to win. Because of this, both Ford and Reagan arrived in Kansas City before the convention opened to woo the remaining uncommitted delegates in an effort to secure the nomination. Reagan benefited from his highly committed delegates, notably “Reagan’s Raiders” of the Texas delegation. They and other conservative Western and Southern delegates particularly faulted the Ford Administration’s foreign policy of détente towards the Soviet Union, criticizing his signing of the Helsinki Accords and indirectly blaming him for the April 1975 Fall of Saigon. The pro-Reagan Texas delegates worked hard to persuade delegates from other states to support Reagan. Ford, meanwhile, used all of the perks and patronage of the Presidency to win over wavering delegates, including trips aboard Air Force One and personal meetings with the President himself.

      1. Considering I never really went back and researched it, my memory of ’76 convention has been vague at best. I knew it was close, that’s about it. Thanks for info. Seems I always learn from your posts.

        1. No, I thank you such a considerate and humbling complement. I’m just an old political junkie who was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of politics and the punditry world from the inside.

  7. The Democrats “Marxist” and the Establishment Rino and their media cheerleaders liked the Billions of $’s they have access to. I hear it’s $250 Billion that is wasted or is spent and you can hardly track it…… A person like Reagan and the people that he would bring to Government would stop the FRAUD…. And they did. Mark was part of that cleanup… Fast forward to today and the same Marxist and Establishment Rino knows that a Cruz would do the same thing. The Media Cheerleaders would get their purse strings cut. The Voters would elect someone like Cruz in a landslide….

  8. Mark is on target as usual. I remember the attacks on Reagan as extremists, dumb and that he would start WWIII. Younger GOP voters need to tune out the DC chattering class.

    Will, Sowell, Charen, Noonan and all the Bushies staffers are either being paid off or returning favors for the GOP establishment with their cheap shots at Cruz. They fear him , like Reagan, because he is a real conservative who will stop this bankrupting of the country. They are willing to be used as tools in future Jeb Bush/Chris Christie campaigns.

    The GOP establishment doesn’t like that Cruz is making them accountable.
    The chattering class is as phony as the Rinos they cover. Thay are all willing to dine in DC with the big government crowd as long as they can remain a member in good standing.

  9. Kudos to you Mr. Levin! You definitely speak for me. We do need a leader, one who will stand up to save our nation and fight for our rights instead of the leaders currently in office trying to fundamentally change our country and take our rights, money, land, and freedom away from us little by little.

  10. Excellent review and historical accurate by the Great One. I supported Reagan in 1976. Also, Levin’s commentary backs up something I have posted often – for most of my life the GOP has been a liberal to moderate party. Regarding George Will, I have often criticized him like below in a recent post.

    “I’ve met George Will and published a number of his articles when Reagan was president. Since that time, Will has steadily moved back to his inner liberalism. And if you ever met him, I’m sure your comment would’ve been far stronger. He’s an elitist SOB like your typical liberal pundit. The worst half – hour I ever spent was with him and his wife. I posted an article on the real George Will. When I find it, I will post a link here cause I’m sure you will be interested.”


    Here’s the link about Will holding a dinner at his home to honor President Elect Obama.

    Obama Breaks Bread with Conservatives

    1. “When in the lives of our children and grandchildren there are 500 million Americans, and there all gonna be working because we’re going to have economic dynamism aided by immigration.”

      Viva la USSA!

  11. I have noticed the piling-on against Senator Cruz this week. Every cocktail-swigging media type within the Beltway has hammered him (including unfortunately Thomas Sowell, who has jumped the shark for me). It seems like a coordinated attempt at Clintonian politics of personal destruction. They should all be shunned and ignored. I for one, sent a donation to Ted Cruz when these new attacks started again this week. You go Ted!

    1. Yes, it appears that Karl Rove has been spreading a little money around with some help from John McShame. You expect the likes of George Will and William Kristol to sell out but I expected more from Thomas Sowell and Mona Charen. I always felt that the latter two had some integrity but I suppose that money talks.

    2. It was quite sad to see that come from Sowell. Comparing Cruz to Dear Leader in any way is beyond the pale. He has jumped the shark for me as well.

  12. Amazing memory Mark “the spark”,,,keep teaching me. Someday I could tell you my story of growing up in a communist country, East Germany. We beat the collectivists and The Wall tumbled in 1989. Now I find myself once again living in a communist country..the USA

  13. I had forgotten a lot of what Mark Levin just reminded me about. George Will has been around for 40 years? Just like a bad case of herpes. As much as I admire Reagan, I wish he had chosen another VP besides Bush because he became the heir apparent after Reagan’s 2nd term and that put the RINOs in charge again. If Ted Cruz were to become the GOP nominee (and I hope and pray that he does) I hope he doesn’t repeat that mistake.

    1. I have come to believe that the main difference between Democrats and the Republican establishment is the way they spell the name of their parties.

      If we lose an election, let’s lose it on principle not compromise.

      1. I agree. Adopt the Spartan message. Come home with your shield- or on it. If we lose this country I’m going down fighting.

    2. Exactly- The forces of evil target and attack those hardest who are a threat to them and their power and agenda, which is why the attacks from them to me are badges of honor, and the more the better, for it signals how effective we the people are. Military pilots say – You only get flack when you’re over the target. Thus, we the people should always be over the target, incessantly, 24/7, for that’s how you defeat the enemies of Freedom and Liberty.

  14. I remember that all too well. In both ’76 and ’80, Reagan was under intense attack by both the lefty-media, and Republicans. He was called senile, out of touch, a war-mongerer, a racist, and so on. Sound familiar?

    The moderate-left GOP and the establishment Republicans, were protecting their personal power. The lefties feared and hated Reagan. I think they knew the people were ready to try a different direction, and were desperate to stop him

    We didn’t give up then, and we won’t give up now. I fervently believe that if we can get a real right-winger nominated, he/she will win, and win big. The GOP hasn’t run a real right-wing candidate since 1984, when Reagan was re-elected overwhelmingly. He is the only presidential candidate I was ever happy to vote for.

    1. One thing nobody seems to remember is that in 1980, the moderate wing of the GOP was split between George Bush, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole while the conservative wing of the party was rallying around Reagan. By the time the moderates coalesced around one candidate (Bush) it was too late. Reagan already had a nearly insurmountable lead.

      The exact opposite has happened in the past two elections. The more conservative candidates split the vote in the primaries allowing the moderates (McCain, Romney) to get the nomination. This splitting of the conservative vote in the primaries is the heart of the problem. If we can’t rally around one candidate like with Reagan back in 1980, then I fear another RINO moderate will be at the head of the GOP ticket in 2016.

      1. Tell that to the PaulBots and their “Paul or nothing” attitude.

        I agree with what you’re saying. We have to get behind someone early, and I submit that someone should be Ted Cruz.

      2. In more recent primaries I think it’s been more of a problem of conservative candidates being blocked by the establishment Republicans. When they’re unable to block them they work hand in hand with the Democrats and their media lapdogs to destroy conservatives early.

        Just look at how Bachmann and Cain were attacked relentlessly by them in 2012. In 2008 Thompson and Hunter were all but ignored by the GOP establishment.

  15. I was just listening to this on Levin’s podcast!
    Isn’t it interesting how the Republican establishment loves to try and co-opt the Reagan legacy, but they hated him back in the day.

    Even more pathetic is the Left’s attempts to claim that Reagan would never support the Tea Party, because he would think that we are too extreme. They try to neuter Reagan’s legacy by painting him as a mushy moderate.

    How quickly the RINOs and the libs conveniently forget Reagan’s distaste for “pale pastels.” Do these sound like the words of an establishment politician:

    “I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.” – Reagan’s speech at the 2nd annual CPAC convention, March 1, 1975

Comments are closed.